IRS Phone Scammers steal an estimated $5 million since 2013

IRS Phone Scammers steal an estimated $5 million since 2013

In late August the Internal Revenue Service released a second consumer alert to remind taxpayers of instances of continued phone scamming.

A common trick these scammers are using is the approach that they need some private information or money sent in order to release your tax refund.  Not only are these calls particularly aggressive but they are occurring in every part of the US.

5 Warning signs that a call from the “IRS” is not legitimate:

The IRS will never…

  1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

(Source: R-2014-84, Aug. 28, 2014)

Despite previous publications and press releases from the IRS, people are still falling victim to IRS phone scammers. ‘Officials have received about 90,000 complaints through a telephone hotline since late 2013, says a TIGTA spokesman. About 1,100 victims have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams’ (Wallstreet Journal Aug 30th 2014).

What should you do if you receive a similar call?

Do not provide any financial information over the phone. Hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or call TIGTA and file report using FTC compliant system.

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